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Demographics of Nicaragua

Most Nicaraguans have both European and Indian ancestry, and the culture of the country reflects the Ibero-European and Indian heritage of its people. Only the Indians of the eastern half of the country remain ethnically distinct and retain tribal customs and languages. A large black minority, of Jamaican origin, is concentrated on the Caribbean coast. In the mid-1980s, the central government divided the eastern half of the country--the former department of Zelaya--into two autonomous regions and granted the people of the region limited self-rule.

The 1995 constitutional reform guaranteed the integrity of the regions' several unique cultures and gave the inhabitants a say in the use of the area's natural resources. Roman Catholicism is the major religion, but Evangelical Protestant[?] groups have grown recently, and there are strong Anglican and Moravian communities on the Caribbean coast. Most Nicaraguans live in the Pacific lowlands and the adjacent interior highlands. The population is 54% urban.

Population: 4,812,569 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 40% (male 971,580; female 936,888)
15-64 years: 57% (male 1,372,169; female 1,392,861)
65 years and over: 3% (male 60,539; female 78,532) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.2% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 28.26 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 34.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.74 years
male: 66.81 years
female: 70.77 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.27 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Nicaraguan(s)
adjective: Nicaraguan

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant

Languages: Spanish (official)
note: English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 65.7%
male: 64.6%
female: 66.6% (1995 est.)

See also : Nicaragua



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